Francis Becomes First Hockey Player Enshrined in NC Sports Hall of Fame

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I played hockey,’” Francis joked. In many ways, Francis could be considered the patriarch of hockey in North Carolina. “He helped build an incredible foundation, and although he wasn’t there for the Stanley Cup, it was a Stanley Cup victory because of what he had done previously,” Fish said. “Being the first hockey player inducted is indeed an honor and well-deserved.” Hockey was first formally recognized by the Hall of Fame in 2012, when the Hurricanes’ 2006 Stanley Cup Championship was honored as one of the Great Moments in state sports history. And there will be more accolades to come. Likely soon to join Francis and the 299 others in the Hall of Fame will be Rod Brind’Amour and Jim Rutherford, who have already been nominated and considered as inductees. “To be honored and have the opportunity to step in is tremendous, and I know I won’t be the last,” Francis said. “It’s great to be the first part of the team heading into the hall.” As Francis paved the way for hockey in North Carolina, he has so paved the way for the sport in the Hall of Fame. “We’ll see, over the course of history, a continual flow of hockey players that will be included in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame,” Fish said. “I think it’s only going to get better and better,” Francis said about the future of the sport in the state. “You see it in the youth hockey numbers. You see it in the level of teams that our community is putting on the ice. source:

NHL announces Calder Trophy finalists

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His 16:55 average time on ice also led rookie forwards, while his nine power-play points (2-7—9) placed fourth among all freshmen skaters. The 19-year-old Huberdeau set two franchise records, becoming the first Panther to score on two penalty shots in one season (Feb. 21 at Philadelphia and March 5 vs. Carolina) and recording the most points by a teenager in team history (four more than Radek Dvorak in 1995-96). Carolina Hurricanes fans will identify most with Huberdeau whose goal and two assists contributed to the team’s season-opening 5-1 loss to the Panthers back on Jan. 19. The rookie tallied six-points (3g, 3a) in four games played against the Hurricanes, the most against any team he faced throughout the season, and accounted for just under 20 percent of his overall point total generated during the season. Brendan Gallagher – Montreal Canadiens A fifth-round pick (147th overall) by the Canadiens in the 2010 NHL Draft, Gallagher helped Montreal go from a last-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12 to a Northeast Division title and the second seed in the conference in 2012-13. He played in 44 games, ranking second among rookies with 15 goals and fourth with 28 points. Gallagher, 21, also finished in the top five among freshmen skaters in shots on goal (second, 117), plus/minus (fifth, +10) and game-winning goals (t-first, 3). Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks A second-round pick (43rd overall) by the Blackhawks in the 2011 NHL Draft, Saad led all rookies with a +17 rating, including a +12 rating on the road, to help Chicago earn its second Presidents’ Trophy in team history. He ranked fifth among rookies in each of the three major scoring categories – goals (10), assists (17) and points (27). source:

Power Play Must Improve for Carolina Hurricanes Going Forward

Carolina was one of the worst teams in the entire league in scoring on the power play and being scored against during it. It is something that must be improved if the Hurricanes want to avoid their fate from this season. I understand that the goaltending was bad and that will lead to goals being scored on the power play, but you also have to stop your opponent from scoring over 22% of the time when you are a man down. The other problem is that the Hurricanes scored just 14.5% of the time when on the power play. Carolina scored just once on the power play over their last six games and gave up goals on four different chances by their opponents over that same amount of time. Carolina experienced two very long losing streaks during the second half of this shortened season, and they couldn’t stop anyone from scoring during that time. I’m sure the Hurricanes can find a way to get more goals out of players like Jeff Skinner, Alexander Semin and Eric Staal next season with the man advantage. Having Cam Ward back in goal will help out the penalty kill in a big way, but you can’t expect your goalie to stop everything that comes his way. I have to hope that the management with the Hurricanes noticed these problems and will be working on a solution that can be in place before the 2013-14 season gets here. Andy Schmidt is a columnist/writer for RantSports. source:

Hurricanes hope for instant impact with 5th pick in NHL draft

Among the defensemen were Ryan Suter and Dion Phaneuf. Vanek, taken by the Buffalo Sabres, was the No. 5 selection. “A lot of people are comparing this year’s draft to 2003,” Tony MacDonald, the Canes’ director of amateur scouting, said this week. “The comparisons are being made based on the depth and the strength of the draft, and this is a very strong draft with a lot of quality prospects. And not just the first round but through the second round. “While you’d always like to be higher, the fifth spot is a good spot for us to get a player we will be very happy with.” The Hurricanes’ pick is their highest since 2005 when they took defenseman Jack Johnson at No. 3. That was the year everyone in the organization was sweating out the lottery, hoping for the No. 1 pick and the chance to draft Sidney Crosby. The Pens got the No. 1 pick and got Crosby. source:

Only words to remember a season lost in Carolina

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“There’s a lot of different ways you can look at it,” Harrison started before he cut to the chase. “Ultimately, the simplest explanation is that we didn’t play well enough over a stretch when we had to, and we had to limit the losses when we needed to. That’s the tale of the tape. We had a lot of great efforts, especially in that skid. I don’t think our record through March and April was indicative and reflective of our effort and the kind of hockey we were playing. At the end of the day, it was not enough to get the results required.” Hard-working and well-intentioned As newcomers, Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin obviously had their own feelings and intentions of how playing for their new team would turn out during the season. They had many expectations placed on them which they wish they could have fulfilled further in helping the Hurricanes break their absence from NHL postseason play. “Yeah, it was tough, Staal said of missing the chance to participate in the NHL playoffs for the first time in his career. “I wanted to maybe be someone I didn’t have to be. It can kind of go South on you if you start doin’ that. I think I learned a lot and I’m still learnin’ as a pro, and hopefully I can improve my game and get this team into the playoffs.” Staal continued to evolve his own game and worked to be a leader on the team while tallying 31 points in 48 games played, and finished fourth in team scoring by using his two-way play on the second line to do so. Semin did it in a similar way, finishing second overall in team scoring with 44 points in 44 games played while becoming a part of the team’s top line and settling into a new dressing room and city. source:


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